It is difficult to live with missing teeth, but dental implants offer a solution. Implants improve your ability to chew and help with the overall function of your mouth. They can also enhance your appearance. There are multiple options to replacing teeth, so consider the benefits implants can provide.Teeth are the hardest substance in the…
All-on-4 | What Is a Fixed Full Arch Restoration?
All-on-4® is a treatment option that replaces every tooth on the jaw with a dental bridge that attaches to four dental implants. The happy result of All-on-4® treatment is a full and functional set of artificial teeth.
The installation of an implant-supported replacement for the teeth on a patient’s jaw is known as fixed, full-arch restoration. Dental implant surgery is arguably the most intensive stage of this installation. To learn more about All-on-4® and other variations of fixed full-arch installation, read on.
What an All-on-4® dental bridge looks like
All-on-4® prosthodontic appliances allow a patient to enjoy a set of artificial teeth that is as permanent and as functional as natural teeth. Like a set of dentures, an All-on-4® bridge has two components. The first is a gum-colored base that has allowances for screws. These are holes with threads in them. They accommodate the screws that the dentist uses to attach the bridge to the dental implant.
The second component of the All-on-4® dental bridge is the artificial teeth. These teeth take many forms, from individual crowns to a single piece that forms a row of teeth.
Like dentures, dental bridges come in many variations and materials. For example:
- Metal framework with individual metal crowns: Gum-colored material covers the part of the frame that sits on the gums, while porcelain crowns are cemented onto the metal crowns
- Zirconia framework with zirconia crowns: Except for the material (zirconia instead of metal), this bridge has the same structure as its metal cousin, with the option of standalone or fused crowns; like the bridge with the metal base, porcelain "covers" sit on the zirconia teeth
- Full zirconia framework: The entire bridge is carved from a block of zirconia and no porcelain covers the crowns.
Each type of All-on-4® bridge has its benefits. For example, the full zirconia framework is the strongest of the three, but breakage forces the dentist to detach the entire bridge for repair. This is not a drawback that happens with bridges that have individual crowns.
Full fixed arch restoration: The process
The most intensive process in the installation of an All-on-4® full-arch restoration is dental implant surgery. Patients with low bone mass may need a bone graft in preparation for the placement of the implants.
Once the jaws and gums heal around the implants, the dentist then attaches the permanent dental bridge. The entire treatment usually takes several months.
The ideal candidate for fixed full-arch restoration
Each patient has their own unique set of needs. As such, an oral surgeon or dentist will choose a custom approach to fixed full-arch restoration. For some patients, that approach could be All-on-4® full-arch restoration. However, this only becomes an option if:
- A candidate has few or no teeth on their upper or lower jaw
- The candidate has enough bone mass to anchor four dental implants
- The patient is free from existing conditions like bruxism
Most importantly, the person must be healthy enough to undergo dental implant surgery and all that it entails. Both oral and systemic health contribute toward a favorable long-term outcome of All-on-4® installation.
Lastly, a good candidate for All-on-4® should be aware and okay with the changes that come with artificial teeth. They should be ready to relearn certain aspects of their speech. More importantly, the patient should expect a change in the feel and bulk of their teeth.
A permanent smile could be a phone call away
Fitting a set of dentures requires few dental procedures. However, the slippage of this type of artificial teeth limits their function.
If you want a permanent fix to missing teeth, contact us to find out about All-on-4®. Maybe this is the solution that brings your smile back. Our dentist will use their many years of experience to explore this treatment option with you.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: All-on-4 Dental Implants in Vista, CA.
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